How to Write a Short Resignation Letter

When leaving your job, you can keep the relationship professional without over-explaining your reason for quitting.
Taryn Phaneuf
By Taryn Phaneuf 
Updated
Edited by Laura McMullen

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To keep a resignation letter short, focus on providing only the critical details of your plans to leave your job, rather than airing grievances or defending your choice.

The impulse to over-explain in a resignation letter can stem from feeling guilty about quitting, says Emily Frank, a Denver-based career counselor and coach who helps clients through her private practice, the Career Catalyst. “But you can just be done.”

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Whether you’re resigning to take a new job or for another reason, the contents of your letter will be largely the same. Here's how to structure a short resignation letter:

Say that you’re resigning.

Give the date of your last day at work. It’s common to leave with some notice. Two weeks’ notice is typical, but isn’t a hard rule. Bottom line: Put the date in writing. “The specific date is key. You don’t want to see the old job creep into your new job,” Frank says.

If you want to, briefly explain your reason for leaving. But that is optional.

Express gratitude (if it’s genuine). This sentence or two can help you maintain a good rapport, so that you could ask for a reference or another job opportunity someday. If you can, be specific about what you learned on the job or what you appreciated about your time there.

Provide your personal contact information if you want a way to stay in touch. This can go hand-in-hand with an offer to help during the transition or instructions for where to send your last paycheck.

After you've drafted your letter, Frank recommends meeting with your supervisor to tell them you've decided to leave. If you meet in person, bring a printed copy of your letter. No need to do so if you meet virtually. In either case, follow up the discussion by emailing the letter to your supervisor and the next-level supervisor.

Short resignation letter example

Here’s a short resignation letter sample to use:

Dear [your supervisor’s full name],

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from my role as [your title] with [company name]. My last day will be [date].

Thank you for the opportunity to grow in the field.

Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help with the transition. You can reach me at [your personal email address] or [your phone number].

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Immediate resignation letter example

If you’re leaving quickly because of a bad work environment, you can resign immediately without offering an explanation. Frank says it can be as simple as: “I resign effective immediately. Thank you for the opportunity to learn X, Y, Z.”

But if you had a good relationship with your supervisor and circumstances prevent you from giving more notice, you may want to express that in your resignation letter. Here’s how you could do that:

Dear [your supervisor’s full name],

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my immediate resignation from my role as [your title] with [company name] as of [today’s date]. I’m sorry to leave without notice. But due to [briefly describe the reason], I must resign immediately.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn [one or two lessons from your time in the role].

Please send my final paycheck to [your address]. If you need anything from me, you can contact me at [email address] or [phone number].

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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Resignation due to health issues letter example

When leaving a job due to health issues, such as an illness, consider how much you want to share about your personal situation. You may discuss details with your supervisor if you have a strong working relationship, but there’s no need to divulge personal matters in your resignation letter.

Here’s how you could phrase it in your resignation letter.

Dear [your supervisor’s full name],

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from my role as [your title] with [company name]. Due to health concerns, I must resign immediately. My last day is [today’s date].

Thank you for the opportunity to learn [one or two lessons from your time in the role].

Please send my final paycheck to [your address]. If the need arises, you can contact me at [email address] or [phone number].

Sincerely,

[Your name]